Alonso on German GP: ‘All wins are special’

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I’ll let you decide if Fernando Alonso is taking the high road or a different one in his latest Ferrari diary.

Zero mention of the team order issue — Smedleygate! — anywhere in his post:

All wins are special. Winning is a great feeling and that was the case in Hockenheim, especially when I think of the huge workload undertaken by everyone at Maranello to achieve this fantastic one-two finish. No one ever gave up and I know how pleased they were to see two Ferraris cross the line ahead of all our rivals. For over a month now we have been saying that we had to get back to winning at least once before the summer break and finally, we did it. We did not have much luck in some races and, because of unusual incidents, we did not pick up the points we deserved. There was a slight feeling of frustration with this lack of results, but at last in Germany, for once we had a normal race on a weekend when he had no problems whatsoever and the result was there for all to see.

However, the win does not change my approach to the rest of the season. We knew full before Hockenheim that our car was much more competitive and that was what made me so confident. Now we must continue in this direction, starting this coming weekend in Budapest. The Hungaroring is a special circuit for me. It was here in 2003 that I scored my first Formula 1 win and I was on pole here last year. Returning to that 24th August seven years ago, I don’t remember much about the events of the day, because it was so emotional I had the impression that everything happened incredibly quickly: it would be nice to relive that experience this weekend at the wheel of a Ferrari.

The track can almost be described as a go-kart track for Formula 1 cars. The corners follow on, one from the other, so there is nowhere for a driver to pause for breath and it is vital to have a car that deals with the many bumps in the track surface and handles riding the kerbs. From the physical and mental point of view it is a pretty demanding race, so it is important not to get impetuous and overcook things, because any mistake is heavily penalised, especially in qualifying. It’s best to stay focussed and concentrate on your own work, trying to put together the perfect weekend, one step at a time. That is what we plan to do, starting on Thursday. I have already said it many times before: there is still a long way to go in the championship and the maths will only be done at the end.

Now, in second place in our post, is Felipe Massa’s latest piece:

Going back to Budapest will be a very special weekend for me, for reasons which you can all appreciate as it was there, just over a year ago, that I was seriously injured when a spring from another car hit me on the head during Q2 on Saturday afternoon. My first meeting when I arrive at the Hungaroring circuit will be with all the marshals and medical staff who did such a very good job of carefully getting me out of the cockpit. I want to thank these people, with whom I now feel a special bond. I had to stay in hospital for a week after the accident and I got to know the staff, who all treated me so well and one unusual result of the whole unfortunate episode is that I know I now have a lot more fans in Hungary.

Quite often this year, at press conferences at the track, journalists ask me if I feel I am back to normal and if I am driving as well as before and my answer is always the same: yes, in terms of my work, absolutely nothing has changed. But as a person, the accident did change me: it made me value life much more than before and I appreciate the ordinary things in life ten times more and it has put life and my health in perspective, not taking anything for granted and not just for me, but also for life in general and what it means to everyone. I know what it means now and I feel I am much more mature as a human being. However, on the professional front, nothing has changed, because once you shut the visor and go out on the race track, you just do everything as before, without thinking of the accident.

In Germany, we produced a great team result and if people were asking why Ferrari kept saying for several weeks before that the F10 had improved a lot, they got the answer in Hockenheim. But that does not mean we are sitting on our hands, because there will be even more updates coming this weekend and the result last weekend is motivation for everyone in the team to keep pushing even harder to keep the momentum going, improving race by race. There are other reasons to be optimistic about this weekend, including the fact that Bridgestone is bringing its Super-Soft and Medium tyres that have always suited the F10 very well, so maybe we can have another very competitive race. Throughout the year, we have seen that various teams’ performance has been very much related to the track characteristics, with the exception of Red Bull, who have been competitive everywhere. So let’s wait and see how we go at the Hungaroring. Personally, I have never had a good result at this circuit, but that has simply been down to circumstances, as I do enjoying driving here a lot and, in 2008 for example, the last time I actually raced here, I led for sixty laps until my engine failed. So all in all, there are many reasons why I am really looking forward to going back to Budapest in a couple of days time.

No mentions, either. But what I really notice is the tire choice. If it’s true that Massa is having trouble with hard tires, maybe this race will work to his favor.

Any reactions to these two pieces? Pretty much what we’d expect? The team’s moving on and not going to raise the team order issue, especially with the World Motor Sport Council yet to rule.

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